Will the Mets set a record for leaving men on base? In their first 12 games this year, they’ve left 100 men on base. That sounds like a lot, mainly because it is a lot. They’re getting men on base and continually putting themselves in postition for big innings, but they can’t drive them home. Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Ryan Church and Luis Castillo all have on-base percentages over .400, but they still can’t score. Their situational hitting is weak. After having the same problem last year, they may already be pressing. Are they just not clicking yet or is this a continuation of last season? Hopefully it’s the former.
Can Johan Santana start every game? The Mets ace has a 0.46 ERA after three starts, while the rest of the rotation looks like this: Mike Pelfrey 8.10, Oliver Perez 7.84, John Maine 7.20, Livan Hernandez 4.63. Ouch. Numbers two through five have only two starts each, so it’s a little early to panic, but those numbers don’t look good. Pelfrey’s injury may have something to do with his bad start, and, as weird as it sounds, Maine finally feeling healthy may be throwing him off. They could all easily turn things around or just as easily completely fall apart.
Do I have to root for Gary Sheffield? The guy’s been a comlete jackass his whole career, and now I’m supposed to root for him? The Mets are making it hard for me. His teammates seem to love him, but that doesn’t mean I have to. He’s the first player to hit his 500th home run as a Met, but it doesn’t really count anyway, because he’s been artificially enhanced over the years. I was hoping he would strikeout every at-bat without it costing the Mets a game and then they could just release him. Which leads to the next question. . .
Why do the Mets hate Ryan Church? I had something all written, but Bart Hubbuch of the NY Post beat me to it.
Will the bullpen be the best thing about the Mets? After being a complete disaster the last two seasons, the bullpen has had a full turnaround. It’s lived up to the off-season expectations so far, and even leads the majors in ERA. The starting pitching is inconsistent and may stay that way and the offense is leaving an army of men on base, but the relievers are doing their jobs. Roles seem to be set, and it’s the biggest strength of the team.
Will Luis Castillo be the Comeback Player of the Year? The formerly surly second baseman is hitting a surprising .389 with a .436 OBP. He seems to finally be healthy and it’s showing in the way he’s been hitting. With the seventh spot in the order manned by the catchers, who have been hitting terribly this year, Castillo’s resurgence is a godsend. Last year’s Comeback Player of the Year, Fernando Tatis, is 0-7 to start this season, though.
Is Omir Santos the Mets’ best catcher? Brian Schneider is hitting .143, and is already injured. Ramon Castro is hitting .188, and we all know he’ll be injured sometime this season. Santos only has five at-bats, but he already has the same amount of extra-base hits that Schneider and Castro have combined.
Why do the Mets have to play in Ebbets Field? The complaints are coming in fast and furious about Citi Field. There are too many obstucted view seats (though the Mets deny that there are any) with bad sight lines, too many Dodgers references, not enough Mets history, too many Dwight Gooden signatures on the walls and just plain expensive. Enough with the Dodgers. Where’s the Mets stuff? Paying tribute to Jackie Robinson is nice, but what about Ed Kranepool?
Why does David Wright swing at so many bad pitches? For a player who gets on base at a .418 clip and drives in runs (though not so much this season so far), he sure swings at a lot of pitches in the dirt. Sometimes he looks like Butch Huskey up there. Hopefully he can make adjustments and not look so jumpy at the plate so often.
Will Daniel Murphy learn to play the outfield? He’s had a few bad games out in left this season so far. Really bad. And now Jerry Manuel doesn’t even trust him enough to throw the ball home. Murphy has to wing it to Reyes or get written permission before he can make a play at the plate himself. He’s a hard worker, so he’ll most likely improve. But at least he’s an upgrade over Todd Hundley.
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